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Staff

Josh Bell (Principal)josh

2015 was my first year at Woodbury Boston. Previous to this most of my teaching experience was spent in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Over a 16 year period, I worked as a Teacher (years K – 11), Principal and also as an Education Consultant. I also worked in Melbourne and London for 2½ years.

As a very new member of Woodbury Boston Primary School, I am learning very quickly about what makes this school so unique:

The ability of the children to get along so well and resolve any differences so effectively and independently is a stand out for me. The ability of the children to contribute to conversation and discussion, with consideration for others and genuine interest in others’ ideas and points of view. A commitment by the staff and the parents who send their children here, that education should be relevant, sensible and engaging. Woodbury Boston offers a curriculum that not only targets and meets the requirements of the Australian Curriculum, but also a curriculum that offers outstanding adventure opportunities. It is these activities that encourage the students to challenge themselves, encourage others and most importantly, to manage risk.

Many people talk about the amazing location (which can’t be denied), but more importantly, Woodbury Boston is an amazing school. Academic gain plus social intelligence, independence and lifelong contributors. I love working here, and I love that my own children are fortunate enough to be attending here too.

 

Elizabeth Bain (Early Childhood Teacher)

Prior to starting at Woodbury Boston in 2017, I had been told that being here was like heaven on earth. I must say, this impressed me and I was eager to experience the wonderment of the school. I have not been disappointed! In my entire teaching career, I have never experienced such a uniquely nurturing and supportive environment which truly meets the needs of individual children in all facets of their development.

I believe that educational experiences in an early childhood setting must value the uniqueness of each child, and link directly with how young children learn. The class program should be one that provides a match between what is to be taught and the level of development the child has reached. It begins by accepting the child where he or she is at in a particular moment and progress in meaningful steps.

I moved to Denmark in 2013, with my husband following a short time later, when we sold our family business in Perth. We basically followed our grandchildren because we did not want to miss the joy of experiencing them growing up. What an absolute delight this has been.

I enjoy listening to music, camping, reading, bush walking and simply ‘being’ in nature. One of my simple joys of each day is collecting eggs from our four chooks.

I truly do believe that in my little bit of paradise, I have reached ‘heaven on earth’.

 

Victoria Boynton (Administration)Victoria Boynton

I joined Woodbury Boston Primary School in 2015, working in Administration with Whitney. I am so grateful to have been selected to join the Woodbury Boston community and being given the opportunity to work in such a delightful environment. As a parent of a child at the school, it is a blessing to be able to observe first-hand the care that goes into helping our young children develop into resilient, self-managing individuals. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family, and riding my horses.

 

Linda Brough (Teacher Assistant)(81)

I have been working as a Teacher Assistant at Woodbury Boston since 2004, and have been actively involved in the school since my daughters started school in 1995. They have now moved to Perth to study at university. I also have two sons that completed their primary years in this beautiful school.

I absolutely love spending my days with the children in this beautiful environment. The adventure and exploring are just great and the camps are my most favourite and rewarding times. My passions and hobbies at home are very much the same – children, the beach and boating, the bush and camping.

 

(88)Liz Cunningham (Teacher Assistant)

Having moved back to WA from Qld, I have been at this wonderful school since 2015. My home is nestled amongst the birds and towering Karri trees near Muttonbird Beach, so coming to school each day feels just like an extension of home; nature, fun, laughter and learning.

My passions have always been travelling, meeting people and children and so it was a natural step to move into this valued position of educating and supporting the wonderful children and teachers of our school.

My two children also attend the school and I feel lucky they are able to attend such a caring, supportive school surrounded by nature. They can climb and swing from trees, build cubbies, play multi-age games, learn through play, attend camps and explore the natural world around them so freely. These are amazing opportunities that enrich their young lives.

I enjoy gardening, the beach, bush walks, planning my next adventure or simply just making a jigsaw puzzle.  With warmth and positivity, I hope to continue making a difference in children’s lives.

 

Kylie Ford (Teacher Assistant)kylie

I discovered Woodbury Boston Primary School in 2011 after moving to Albany and living on Torbay Hill. Over the years I have volunteered and relieved teacher assistants.  In 2015 I began my role as Teaching Assistant in the Kindy room.

My eldest son currently attends the school, which I am thrilled about as he enjoys going to school where he can be himself in such a caring, fun and natural environment.  Our dedicated educators make learning meaningful, challenging and interesting by promoting lifelong learning skills, risk taking and building confidence.

I am privileged to be part of the fun, dynamic and supportive teaching team at such a unique and beautiful school. I love going to school here!

When I’m not at school I spend my time with family and friends and enjoy the beach, surfing and travel.

 

Jasmine Heslop (Teacher)

My first connection with the school was back in 1990, when I traveled from Perth for my ‘best ever’ primary school camp at the Woodbury Boston Environmental School (next door to the school, now the Torbay Hill Function Centre). I instantly fell in love with the stunning Torbay scenery – it’s green rolling hills, pristine beaches and rugged coastline. My favourite memory was playing a thrilling game of ‘fox holes’ in the darkness along the beach. Fast forward 27 years and I’m now a teacher at Woodbury Boston Primary School! I was welcomed as a relief teacher for the last two years, which was a wonderful opportunity to start building relationships within the school community.

What impresses me the most about Woodbury Boston? I believe it’s the school’s strong identity. The students and staff feel a sense of pride in the ways that make our school unique – the respectful communication between adults and children, the permission to assess risks and be adventurous, and the opportunities for shared decision-making and leadership. These precious lifelong skills are being practiced every day, and help nurture socially-engaged and community-minded individuals. Something I am proud to be a part of.

Before coming here, I have lived, studied and worked in Perth, Sydney, Darwin, Albany and Denmark. Since completing my education degree in 2003, I’ve been fortunate to have some interesting teaching jobs. I’ve been a primary school teacher, as well as a teacher at a special education high school, and a vocational lecturer at a university teaching English as a Second Language to adult refugees and migrants. In 2012, I moved to Denmark and decided to start my own private tutoring business, which focuses on supporting primary and high school students struggling in their Maths and English subjects, after school hours.

I love anything to do with visual art, joining in modern dance classes, listening to live music, practicing Indonesian language with my relatives in Indonesia, long road trips along the coast, camping with my family, and hiking on local trails and mountains.

 

(82)Jenny Higgs (Teacher Assistant)

My name is Jenny Higgs and my family live on a farming property nearby. We have four adult children. I have a background in nursing and swimming teaching.

I started at Woodbury Boston in 2010. This had a huge impact on me. I found the caring and sensible approach to schooling refreshing and the staff friendly, genuine and passionate.

I find it a joy to come to work each day and love being a part of this very grounded alternative to mainstream education.

 

Robyn King (Teacher Assistant)(83)

I have been at Woodbury Boston since the beginning of 2006, working with our youngest children, and I absolutely love it. It is an amazing environment in which to positively and lovingly contribute to every child’s happiness, growth and wellbeing. I am a Mothercraft nurse and have previously worked in schools with children with special needs and childcare centres for more than 20 years.

My own family, which now includes two precious grandchildren, has lived in this magnificent area for many years. My passions are my family, the beach, animal welfare, caring for the environment and nurturing our most precious resource – children.

In the words of M. Fields and C. Boesser, 1994: “For the cause of worldwide peace and harmony may it begin in the hearts of children and spread.”

 

Deanne Lowrie (Classroom Teacher – currently on maternity leave)deanne

I began teaching at Woodbury Boston in 2007. I have been lucky enough to see many children, as well as their sibling’s, understandings of the world grow. I find it so rewarding watching the children progress in leaps and bounds over time, from learning to control their paintbrush to writing their first imaginative story. Alongside the children I too have a love of all things environmental and enjoy sharing this sense of curiosity for the natural world with them.

I believe in order for a child to learn, they must first feel safe to make mistakes. Therefore on a daily basis our classroom celebrates the testing and trying of new ideas, facing challenges, bouncing back from problems and voicing our opinions.

I believe in implementing an educational programme which provides children with skills they will need to become life-long learners, whilst nurturing their unique strengths and following their interests.

In order to meet your child’s needs in the most effective way, I invite you as a partner in teaching, to discuss your child’s cognitive, physical and emotional development and welcome you to be part of your child’s school day.

 

Stu Mynott (Teacher Assistant)Stu 2

Hey, I’m Stu. Two years ago I jumped off the bus onto Albany’s lovely face with my swag and a smile. Since then I have experienced a whirlwind of blessings: I finished my year ten education, discovered my passion for working with children at a speech therapy clinic, completed my certificate III to become an EA, scored a sweet pad to call home in Kronkup and the big one – Landing my dream job!

Woodbury Boston is a natural paradise full of amazing souls, young and old. The children are cheeky champions with a huge hunger to learn and the staff are even more cheeky and possess a huge buffet full of knowledge, skills and love to keep the little minds and hearts well fed.

I’m grateful for every second at this magnificent school.

Thank you for taking the time to hear a slice of my life. Peace 🙂

 

Val Nissen (Specialist Teacher – currently on leave)

My involvement with Woodbury Boston started in 2007, when I started as a teachers’ aide. After five very happy years of work and study, I qualified as a primary and secondary teacher (History & Social Studies) and have continued to work here in both a full-time and relief capacity for the years since then. In my ‘spare’ time, I help run our small farm here in Kronkup, and continue to learn French – augmented by regular trips to France to torture the natives with my self-taught language skills. When I am not away, I have three adult children and four grandchildren living nearby, who regularly raid my pantry.

One of the things which impresses me about this wonderful school is the caring nature of all staff, and the commitment and dedication they have to the students. Students are nurtured in a way that allows them to challenge themselves without the fear of failure, and every effort is made to ensure students develop a sense of individual and communal responsibility. Non-violent communication, which is part of the school culture, has made many students into expert negotiators and it really is a joy to watch them as they learn to use the language of objectivity to resolve disputes.

Having such a wonderful staff (and we are so lucky to have so many wonderful aides) makes Woodbury Boston a delightful place to work, and I don’t even need to mention that the view over the ocean adds just that little extra something to another great day at work.

 

Valentina Ollington (Classroom Teacher)(91)

After spending three years teaching in the goldfields region of Kalgoorlie, I decided it was time to move on to greener pastures and relocated to Albany in late 2015 with my husband and furry family of pets. Shortly after I was fortunate enough to secure a teaching position at this lovely school, commencing at the start of 2016. Being a part of a school that encourages students to take risks and places such a high importance on outdoor learning and building a strong sense of community is truly amazing.

Outside of school I enjoy travelling and exploring new landscapes and cultures. I like cooking and trying new cuisines. A favourite pastime of mine is getting outdoors and exploring nature. I like spending time at the beach and especially enjoy snorkeling and kayaking. I love being creative and I look forward to brightening children’s education at Woodbury Boston Primary School.

“Children may be likened to seeds. At first they seem more alike than different. As they grow and mature their differences become more marked. Some remain small and delicate while others are large and brilliant; some bloom early and some bloom late. One thing they have in common: under good conditions they all bloom and have their own beauty.”

 

(90)Sasha Ozanne (Teacher Assistant)

I adore working with children, having filled various roles from my first job as a fairy helper to more recent work mentoring children in trauma with learning and behavioural difficulties. I’m currently studying Early Years Education and feel passionately about play-based learning. In my spare time I train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, walk my gorgeous lurcher, dance rockabilly and blues, have wilderness adventures, knit like the wind and dream of my next dog-sledding trip. It is a constant delight to be amongst the children, staff and trees of Woodbury Boston!

 

Hiede Reiter (Teacher Assistant)hiede

I have worked at Woodbury Boston part time since 2011. Previously I worked in a bank. I am married with one son, who attended the school, and have numerous animals at my home in Albany, where we have lived since 2001.

I love my job at the school as I have had the opportunity to work in most of the classrooms, and have enjoyed building relationships with all the children. Being a smaller school we are blessed in that we do know all the children, and I value the feeling of ‘family style caring’ that abounds here.

After being in an office for 21 years I treasure every day in the natural environment of this school. I enjoy spending time with my family, tending my animals, and reading.

 

julieJulie Ruscoe  (Music and Specialty Subject Teacher)

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Fred Rogers

I began at Woodbury Boston in 2014 as the kindergarten teacher, and now spend time with all the classes across a variety of subjects. I am thrilled to be fortunate enough to teach in such a beautiful location. I began my teaching career with a kindy/pre-primary centre at Warwick Primary School. I then moved to Albany where I have taught at several local schools over the last twenty years.

I am very keen to promote learning through play and utilise the wonderful outdoor learning environment. I love drawing, gardening, singing, kayaking, reading and camping and walking our dog.

 

Sunny Steffanoni (Classroom Teacher)(86)

I have been at Woodbury Boston Primary School since 2004. I first started at the school as a mother of a young boy, who started at the school in year one and continued here happily for all of his primary years. Over the seven years my son attended school I also worked as a teacher assistant whilst studying to become a teacher.

The school has many endearing qualities, which is why my husband and I first chose to send our son here. Our son has loved his time at the school and has developed into a confident, caring young man, who is thoughtful of others and respects nature and all its creatures

I am absolutely honoured to be a part of this beautiful community, which cherishes and respects all children and adults. To have the responsibility of nurturing and supporting young children is a true privilege and joy. I am continually amazed and delighted at the capacity of children, I am not only their teacher, they are also mine.

 

Whitney Weaver (Administration)(79)

I have a long association with Woodbury Boston, being the eldest daughter of founders John and Forrest Woodbury. My two, now adult, sons attended this school, and I have been working in the school administration since 2002. I love working at the school, especially the contact I have with parents and other members of the community. The more I am involved with the school, the more passionate I become about the gentle, inclusive, adventurous, non-competitive approach to education that the school uses, and how important it is for there to be choices in educational style available to parents.

Outside of school I sing with a band, and I also love craft – currently knitting, cross-stitch and paper-craft – as well as camping, reading and spending time with family and friends. My family and I live on the family property adjacent to the school, with fabulous views over the ocean and bay.